May 1, 2009 Report No：09-05
European Union, Germany and Security Sector Reform in Afghanistan
|Field||Political Science and International Relations|
The paper analyzes progress, shortcomings and some corrections made of the Security Sector Reform (SSR) as part of the overall Bonn Process. It focuses on the following issues: (i) the SSR’s core task to transform distorted war structures into legitimate and sustainable state structures is outlined; (ii) the conceptual flaws of the SSR are illustrated in the context of the inappropriate international approach toward state-building in Afghanistan; (iii) the SSR’s initial approach of five different, though insufficiently interlinked pillars is described; (iv) the counter-narcotics pillar is taken as an example to analyze political deficits of the SSR approach; (v) the reform of the police illustrates how corrections have been made due to lessons learned; (vi) the neglected reform of the justice sector demonstrates that the SSR’s approach has ignored Afghan realities and therefore poorly failed. The paper concludes by arguing that the international community should consider how a downgraded end-state can be made compatible with a future political system shaped by “Afghan ownership”. This implies to realistically downgrade timeframes and gradually transform the political system in such a way that it corresponds with the socio-cultural traditions of the Afghan society.